Disclaimer: This post is strictly for those who have trusted their lives into the hands of Jesus Christ and believe in him as Lord and saviour . . . but . . .
It was my turn to moderate our weekly study session, so I read through the Mind of Christ Study Book like a robot responding to zeros and ones. If I went back to read a line again, it’ll feel like I hadn’t read it before. It was obvious my mind was somewhere else while my eyes did all the work. Studying attributes of the servant mind was meant to be interesting. Topics like Humility, Obedience, Loyalty and Watchfulness were a part of the curriculum. I should have been intrigued, but to be honest, I wasn’t. I wasn’t even there.
So where was I?
The living room might feel a lot more homely if I get curtains. The bedroom suddenly came to life when I got curtains, so I think the living room should enjoy the same facelift. I’ll get curtains. I’ll probably move those photos to the other side of the room to accommodate the curtains. Yeah, that’s a good idea. I’ll move the figurines to the left to give the curtains more room. Yeah, I’ll do that. Curtains . . . curtains . . . curtains . . .
“Just as Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to learn the more needful things, spend time now and throughout the day with Jesus in prayer. Watch. Wait. Listen. Prepare to obey.” I heard myself reading the closing remarks for the day’s study. Just like that, it was over and I missed it all.
And that was when it hit me: My relationship with Jesus has been on cruise control with my tank in reserve and the light just started to blink . . . I was going on EMPTY.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me . . . Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. John 15:4,6
I looked at Boo of life and began my confession. How I really wasn’t a part of the study the entire time. How I feel like I have been coasting and somehow I know I have used up all the fuel in my tank, the fuel I must have gathered up so many years ago in Uni, and in those times before we got married when I had time on my hands, and those times after we were married when there were no kids and the cares of life were minimal . . . all those times when I spent ample time with the Word and in prayer, and I did them all out of an overflowing unconditional love for my Lord. Now, life was the axe that had severed me from the Vine and I had been lying there on the floor with my leaves looking green. Everyone must have walked past me and thought I had it all together. Lies. It was time that masked my withering state.
And I was scared.
Scared that I might never recover from this coasting; just like my desire to get fit and eat healthy. They are just desires and they constantly remain that way. So this too might end up a desire. A desire to be restored but I’ll never be. You see, my Master is always on my mind but as an afterthought. I think about Him everyday but only filled with guilt that I have constantly ignored Him. There is truth in the story of the wolf you feed, surely one gets stronger at the expense of the other, and in battle, the loser needs no introduction. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. And the only way to get fed is to remain in the Vine . . . sigh!
But I wore these last month . . . !!!
You never really know how much you’ve changed when you see yourself in the mirror everyday. You look normal until those pair of trousers don’t fit anymore. That’s the thing about gradual transformation. That bucket of ice cream you downed in one go won’t harvest love handles the night after. And that burger. And those fries. You have to consistently make that your diet and ignore your running shoes, and it’s only a matter of time and then . . . voila!!! It’s the same with your spirit. You jump up and go everyday without any regard for your spiritual diet and exercises but you’ll never know how weak you are until one day you wake up and you can’t stop yourself from falling into some temptation that was once easy-peasy.
And that was my state. Physically and spiritually dormant.
And the fear wouldn’t go away.
Why would I fear that I’ll never find my way back? For sure that thought was not of my Master.
These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (TLB)
Of course, there’s someone who doesn’t mind if I remain in this state. Not hot. Not cold. Just lukewarm. He will do just about anything to keep me away from the fire that once consumed me; the fire of love for the One who saved me. So he used this fear to keep me tied down. But the moment I realised his move, I knew that there must be a lot at stake if he does succeed.
You see, when I decided to hand over the reins of my life to Jesus, I didn’t just make a decision to live my life by a certain belief system neither was I pressured by the prevailing customs around me. I had come to the point where I had experienced love and mercy that I never really deserved, in many ways than my mind can recount, and I just couldn’t doubt that He IS real. He is real to me. So why on earth would I give up the reality of such a love in response to the reflexes of the cares of life? Why would I give up the hopes of life eternal for the fleeting moments of now? Why would I allow myself gradually slip away from the only thing that matters most to me?
There are a lot of us who spend time staying obedient to the call but have become disobedient to the One who called. We go to church and every single christian activity we can afford. We don’t tell lies but find ourselves singing it every now and then when we raise our hands in worship with absent hearts. We’ve lost focus of the object of our worship. Truth is we know He’s there, but that’s head knowledge, He’s been out of our hearts for quite some time.
Have you been weighed down by lots of things that you have found yourself, like me, slipping away from the One you once loved with every fibre of your being?
Are you a dad or mum who like me can’t seem to find the time to get back to scriptures that one time fired your soul?
Are you surrounded by so many enlightened people who flaunt their disdain for the God you have since believed in, and now you wonder where exactly you are standing?
Are you willing to give it all up because you think you cannot get it back?
Take this from me: The Cross will never wither. It’ll never lose its power.
I didn’t just by myself realise that I had been coasting. He opened my eyes to it. It was Him all along. Calling me. Because He misses me. Because He loves me. Because I am His. So here I am, on my journey back to Him.
And just in case you’re coasting too . . . It’s time.